The Nordic Club was founded in 1983 by Lisbeth Kvistgaard, a Danish woman who lived in Jakarta at the time. Understanding that Scandinavia is a long way from Indonesia, she aimed to connect people from the Nordic countries. At the same time, she also wanted to do good and started charity work through fundraising.
“When I lived here in the 1990s, the Nordic Club organised an annual Christmas party as its biggest fundraiser as well as Christmas Bazaar,” Birgitta Berg, current president of the Nordic Club, recalls. “Later, the Christmas party was transformed into a fundraising Crayfish party, and the last one was held in 2013.”
When the rules and regulations for charity organsations in Indonesia changed in 2014, so did the activities of the Nordic Club.
“The members voted not to legalise the club. So today, the Nordic Club is purely a volunteer and social organisation based in Jakarta, creating a connection between people from Nordic countries and their families who live in Indonesia,” Birgitta, who comes from Sweden, explains. “We have to main aims: to unite the Nordic community in Jakarta through social gatherings and other functions, and to help newcomers settle in Jakarta.”
Currently, the Nordic Club consists of around 50 families from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark, the numbers evenly spread between the four countries. The club is governed by a board that is elected at the annual general meeting in April. The board also includes country representatives.
“The representatives communicate with new members from their respective countries in their mother tongue and occasionally organise country-specific events,” says Birgitta who returned for her second stint in Jakarta in 2012 and has been a board member of the Nordic Club for three years before becoming President this year.
“Our members are invited to attend our monthly coffee mornings in private homes,” she adds. “They can also participate in our weekly or monthly group activities such as book clubs, golfing, yoga, pub nights, and attend other events and trips organized by the Nordic Club.”
Upcoming events organised by the Nordic Club include a ceramics workshop, a spice lecture followed by a lunch, family day at Waterbom and the annual Christmas potluck dinner. According to Birgitta, activities may change from year to year, depending on the members’ requests.
For more information on the Nordic Club, visit www.nordicclubjakarta.org
or find @nordicclubjakarta